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Birds-eye-view of Belarus: Impregnable and mysterious Lida Castle

With its massive defensive walls made from red brick and rubble, and loophole towers overlooking the entire city, this medieval fortification is steeped in history and legend. This castle has been a witness to many centuries of Belarusian history, which makes it a unique historical site. Here is a birds-eye-view of Lida Castle.

The construction of the fortified castle in Lida began in 1323 upon the order of Grand Duke Hiedymin. Back then the Grand Duchy of Lithuania was frequently threatened by the Crusaders; therefore a powerful citadel along the Novogrudok-Krevo-Medniki-Troki line of defense was supposed to block access to the country’s rear. As time went by, an entire town rose up around the ramparts of the castle. This town came to play an important role in Medieval Europe. In 1422 the castle hosted the marriage of 71-year-old Jogaila, King of Poland, and 17-year-old Princess Sophia of Golshany, the founders of the Jagiellon dynasty whose descendants still reign in Europe. This formidable castle withstood numerous onslaughts, destruction, desolation and was restored to their original shape thanks to painstaking restoration effort. Today Lida Castle is among the most popular tourist sites in Belarus. It hosts history re-enactment events, knights tournaments, a theatrical show re-enacting the royal wedding and the Lida Castle Sward medieval festival. A fascinating exposition opened on five levels of the Vitaut Tower. Another tower, which was named after the castle founder Hiedymin, will re-open after restoration in the near future.

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